‘I was alone’: B.C. woman warns others after robber tries to force her to go to ATM

Manj Sidhu-Gill was alone in a parking lot on Jan. 15, when a man approached dressed in all black

An Abbotsford woman has sent out a warning to other women on social media after a man – who claimed to have a knife – tried to rob her by forcing her to a bank ATM.

“If I was a man, I guarantee you he would not have approached me, it’s just because I was female and I was alone,” Manj Sidhu-Gill said. “Ladies, please be safe and if your gut tells you something isn’t right, just listen to it.”

On Jan. 15, as Sidhu-Gill was leaving her job on South Fraser Way and Clearbrook Road around 4:15 p.m., she was approached by a man in the parking lot. She said he was dressed in all black and had the hoodie of his jacket tied around his face.

“I didn’t even think as to why his head was covered because it was freezing cold. I thought he was just trying to stay warm,” Sidhu-Gill said. “I actually thought about offering him my gloves.”

“He said, ‘I’ve got a knife to your back, right here on your kidney.’”

She said the man had his hand pressed to her back and she didn’t know if he actually had a weapon, but she wasn’t taking any chances.

Sidhu-Gill said, at first, he tried to bring her to a nearby RBC but changed course once he saw people inside. He redirected her towards the Coast Capital ATM, as it had closed due to the weather.

“I saw people come out of the Royal Bank. As soon as I saw them, there was no thought process, I just ran, screaming at the top of my lungs: Call 911! He’s got a knife! Call 911!”

She said her efforts caught the attention of the people leaving the RBC and the robber took off.

Abbotsford police are aware of the incident and an investigation is ongoing, according to Sgt. Judy Bird, media officer for the department.

Shortly after the incident, Sidhu-Gill made a post on social media to warn other women about her experience.

She said women shouldn’t become to comfortable in public spaces if they are alone, even if the area is familiar to them.

“I’ve been [working in this complex] for 10 years and I’ve never had something like this happen, so I was just too comfortable,” Sidhu-Gill said. “I was alone, the parking lot was completely empty.”

“There were no cars, none whatsoever. [The surrounding businesses] were all closed. Nobody was there.”

Sidhu-Gill said she’s talked to counsellors who told her she’s handled the situation well, but other might be more damaged by a similar scenario.

“I’m not traumatized by it, I’m not worried, but I will be taking extra precautions now.”

On the evening of Jan. 16, a day after the robbery attempt on Sidhu-Gill, a man was arrested for the attempted robbery of a different woman at a bank ATM in the same area.

Scott Kuebeck, 32, was charged with robbery, disguising his face with intent to commit a crime and possessing a weapon for dangerous purposes.

RELATED: Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Boundary Adult Hockey League moves into the final 4

Semi-finals start Feb. 25 in Grand Forks

Greenwood Public Library looks to next chapter

The institution celebrated 75 years on Feb. 20

Supreme Court of Canada will hear Sinixt appeal May 12

B.C. has appealed Indigenous hunting case through several levels of court starting in Nelson in 2016

Shuttle service at Trail hospital will remain for now

“ … shuttle service will remain in place while work on the new drop-off area … continues.”

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

Six Wet’suwet’en supporters arrested during blockade of Vancouver port: police

This latest blockade had gone on for nearly 24 hours in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

‘Intemperate, insulting’: B.C. teacher reprimanded for online comments about religion

John William Yetman made the comments in response to a Facebook invitation to Open Mosque Day B.C.

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

UPDATE: 14 arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Hospital parking fees needed, but changes to payment system possible, health minister says

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix says hospital parking doesn’t need to be so stressful

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

IHOP to host seventh annual National Pancake Day

IHOP will be offering free short-stack pancakes in support of BC Children’s Hospital on Tuesday

Most Read